Justin Bieber talks Lakers love, NBA 2K13

When it comes to his NBA fandom, the Biebs is all about Kobe and the Lake Show. Jayne Kamin-Oncea/US Presswire

For Justin Bieber, there's only one stage bigger than the one he performs on: the basketball court.

Bieber, who just won the American Music Award for Artist of the Year, showed off some of his hardwood skills during the 2011 NBA All-Star Weekend in Los Angeles.

Fans named the lefty the MVP in the celebrity game after he finished with eight points, four assists and two rebounds.

"He's got a nice little game," ESPN NBA analyst Chris Mullin, a fellow southpaw, said afterward. "But more importantly, he's got great passion. It looked like he loves the game."

This year, 2K Sports took notice of that passion and invited Bieber to take part in motion capture at the Visual Concepts studio in California as part of the development for NBA 2K13.

Bieber headlines the game's first-ever celebrity team, which also includes entertainers Brian Baumgartner, Chamillionaire, Pauly D, Sean Kingston, Meek Mill, Mac Miller, J.B. Smoove, Vinny, Wale and Bow Wow.

A few days ago, ESPN Playbook had a chance to catch up with Bieber, who's in the middle of his "Believe" tour, to talk hoops and NBA 2K13.

How long have you been an NBA fan, and what team do you root for?

Eighteen years, from the womb. L.A. Lakers.

I know you're a big NBA 2K fan. Since you travel a lot, do you still get a chance to play?

Whenever there is down time, I love to play.

Have you ever played the game against an NBA player?

Not yet, but I'd love to play with anyone who doesn't mind losing.

For your appearance in NBA 2K13, I heard you experienced motion-capture technology. What was that experience like?

It was surreal. It was such an awesome experience and it is a dream come true to appear in the 2K series.

With Jay-Z as the executive producer of this year's title, do you think you'd ever like to have that role? If so, any new ideas you have?

Oh, for sure. It would be amazing to become involved in the entire process. There are no specific changes that I can think of off the top of my head, other then to make the Lakers even better than they already are.

How often do you hoop these days, and do you have a regular group you run with?

I definitely do not play as much as I'd like to, but I'll play with the crew when we are on tour and I'll shoot around more often when I'm home. As long as I can continue to cross up my [friend] Alfredo [Flores], all is right in the world.

Who's your favorite NBA player?

I love the Lakers, so I have to go with Kobe [Bryant]. He has unbelievable natural talent and he works harder than just about anyone in the league.

What basketball amenities do you have in your house?

A basketball hoop.

What team would make you happiest if it won a championship?


What is your favorite sports memory as a fan or participant?

Playing in the NBA All-Star [celebrity] game.

Who was your childhood sports idol?

Wayne Gretzky.

Which modern athlete do you love to hate?

I don't hate on anyone. I respect anyone that can play at the highest level of their respective sports.

Any upcoming basketball-related things fans can expect in 2013?

You will have to wait and see.